The Detroit Tigers announced on Wednesday they have fired executive vice president and general manager Al Avila after 22 years with the organization, including seven years as the GM. Tigers chairman and CEO Chris Illitch said in a statement: “Once I decided to make a change, I sat down with Al and thanked him for his nearly 22 years of service to our organization. Al’s loyalty and dedication has served as an example to all during his time as a leader in our baseball operations department … I want to re-establish our momentum and progress towards building a winning team and I am driven to find a talented executive to help us do that. Tigers fans deserve winning teams and I’m highly focused and committed to deliver that to the people of Detroit and Michigan. With new baseball operations leadership will come a fresh perspective toward evolving our roster and maximizing our talent to reach our objectives. To be clear, our goals are to build a team that wins on a sustainable basis, qualifies for the playoffs, and ultimately wins the World Series.”
In six full seasons with Avila as general manager, the Tigers had five losing seasons including two years with the worst record in baseball and one 100-loss season. This season, the team has fallen 25 games below .500 and are currently sitting in last place in the AL Central with the third-worst record in the league.
Said Avila: ”For nearly 22 years, I have given my heart and soul to this franchise, and I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch, along with Chris, for the opportunity and treating me and my family as their own. We’ve celebrated successes and enjoyed great moments, and I’m proud to have worked with so many talented people in baseball operations and throughout the organization. I’Il cherish our friendships and the successes we all celebrated together. To Tigers fans, you’re the best and you deserve a winner. I wish the results would have been better this season but know there is a lot to look forward to in the coming years. God bless everyone.”
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